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Saturday, February 22, 2014

10 Measures of Diversity Working in Society and in the Workplace

Diversity is a value that aims to promote peaceful accord with everyone despite differences in thoughts, attitudes, cultural background, lifestyles, gender, race, among other variables. In an ideal situation in any context, diversity is seen to be working when each member accepts, tolerates and respects one another.

Diversity in Society
One meaningful academic definition of diversity was conceptualized by a diverse group of University of Oregon students:
  • The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.
  • It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.
  • These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
  • It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.
  • It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
According to Wikipedia, the phrase cultural diversity can also refer to having different cultures respect each other's differences. The phrase "cultural diversity" is also sometimes used to mean the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole.

However, with wars, violence, crimes of all sorts having accompanied human society since time immemorial, diversity in society is clearly vulnerable.

One strong opinion against diversity states that it will never work. According to an opinion writer, Brett Stevens, the problem with diversity is that instead of culture, it chooses anti-culture, or the culture of having no culture. A person in a culture afflicted with diversity faces an ugly choice: they can either join the culture of non-culture and give up on their own values, or they can retain their own values and be socially ostracized or treated as a stereotype. Read more

Stevens also wrote that ultimately, with too much tolerance and government regulations, diversity leads to criminality, corruption and other third-world ills.

Diversity in the Workplace
Ealier in this year, a news article by Forbes reported about what The Economic Intelligence Unit had gathered from its global survey of 200+ human resources (HR) executives worldwide as an emerging definition of workforce diversity, which goes beyond avoiding race, ethnicity and gender discrimination, or even complying with the rules.

The article states that the new understanding of diversity that has emerged is this: Diversity now encompasses values, meaning what motivates someone to join a company, embody organizational passions, and be productive for a long time. It turns out that diversity means giving people the space to work differently. Read more here

According to acclaimed social psychologist Dr. Claude Steele, one of the major barriers holding back the achievement of Blacks, women and other underrepresented groups is a phenomenon he calls “stereotype threat,” the threat of being viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype or the fear of doing something that would inadvertently confirm that stereotype. Call it subconscious self-handicapping. Read more here

Stereotyping leads to discrimination that can have deadly consequences. Recall the story of Trayvon Martin. An opinion article explains it was being stereotyped as a criminal element that led to Trayvon's fatal shooting. See

In an artcle by Huffington Post, it was reported that a new survey by the Greatheart Leader Labs in Seattle found that the gaps in diversity stemmed from one issue, study authors concluded -- a failure to communicate. Read here

How to Keep Diversity Working
In one scholarly article, “The Effects of Diversity On Business Performance: Report of the Diversity Research Network,” it is noted that: When HR practices support the creation of a workforce that has the skills needed to turn diversity into an advantage, diversity is more likely to lead to positive performance outcomes.
The article also states that firm-wide, diversity-sensitive managerial strategies, human resource policies, and organizational cultures are important and valuable. The research team summarized their findings, thus: There is a need to go beyond the business case for diversity as a number of different aspects of the organizational context and some group processes moderated diversity-performance relationships. Read more

One more recent study that was published online, “Getting diversity at work to work: What we know and what we still don't know” presents what the researchers - Harrison and Klein (2007) suggest as diversity not just being one thing, but three things, namely:
  • Diversity as separation reflects that diversity might trigger social categorization processes;
  • diversity as variety implies that diversity might facilitate innovation, learning and decision-making;
  • diversity as disparity recognizes that diversity is often associated with status differences.
The above study suggests there is no single approach to making diversity work, hence, correlations between diversity practices and work outcomes vary, but in all the research it presents, one thing is clear: diversity needs to be managed well in order to gain benefits both for the company and its employees.

Clearly, diversity is such a complex matter, and it is not easy to measure the success of diversity initiatives and/or programs. However, work organizations would do well to establish a list, of diversity indicators or measures, to assist them, such as the following.

Measures of Diversity Working in the Workplace
1. Employee Satisfaction
2. Customer Satisfaction
3. Workforce Demographics
4. Compensation Analysis
5. Retention
6. Turnover
7. Absenteeism
8. Proportion of Management Positions held by Women/Minorities/Persons with Disabilities
9. Upward Mobility
10. Diversity Training Attendance

The first two diversity measures focus on the outcomes of diversity programs, while the rest of the indicators are quantitative measurements.

Finally, it can be said that the extent to which there is less violence, crimes, unemployment in a diverse community or society indicates the level of diversity at work. The extent to which diverse businesses, with diverse workforce thrive in a given diverse community and contribute to its economic progress also indicates the degree to which diversity is working successfully.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Black History Month: Its Significance and Its Message of Diversity

The month of February is Black History Month, also known as the National African American History Month, and it pays tribute to the many generations of African Americans who fought for freedom and equality in America, and commemorates their accomplishments, as well as their contributions to American history. Its observance too highlights the importance of diversity in today's America.

This celebration, in fact, had its origins in 1915 when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (“ASALH”). Through this organization Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926. Dr. Woodson selected the week in February that included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two key figures in the history of African Americans.

Then in 1975, through his Message on the Observance of Black History Week, President Ford urged all Americans to "recognize the important contribution made to our nation's life and culture by black citizens."

In 1976, this commemoration of black history in the United States was expanded by ASALH to Black History Month, and President Ford issued the first Message on the Observance of Black History Month that year. 

Since then, February has been officially designated by every American president as the month for the observation of Black History Month.

Notably in 1986, Public Law 99-244 (PDF, 142KB) was passed by Congress to provide for the designation of the month of February, 1986 as "National Black (Afro-American) History Month. This law noted that February 1, 1986 would “mark the beginning of the sixtieth annual public and private salute to Black History.” 

President Reagan, mandated by this law, issued Presidential Proclamation 5443, which among others states the primary purpose of the observance of Black History Month, which is to " make all Americans aware of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.” Source for the history of Black History Month

Equal opportunity, indeed, until today remains an important struggle for African Americans who are very much woven into the national fabric of a diverse America, and their fight for being full citizens of this great land cannot be diminished, for African Americans have added immensely to the rich diversity of American society, in general, and specifically, to workplace diversity.

There is no better time then to appreciate this, and taking cue from an article by Gary Smith on how to celebrate Black History Month more meaningfully, let us look at these ways that can add proper context to its observance:
  • Start with an end goal in mind: - Diversity employers can start with knowing exactly what they want to achieve: a greater understanding of the contributions of African Americans, for one or seek to engender an understanding of African-American cultural norms to develop products and services that connect better with customers.
  • Use it to further dialogue: Forging a bond that fosters more authentic conversations is an important and worthwhile goal of Black History Month.
  • Connect celebrations to the broader mission: This requires communicating that organizations benefit from diversity through the talents of a diverse workforce and potentially from the impact diverse markets may have on the business. Showing the linkage between diversity and revenue generation as part of a cultural celebration creates an effective demonstration of why diversity matters.
  • Create a call for action: The information presented in (any) celebration needs to find its way back into the work of the organization. A key question that needs to be answered is: How will what you learned here influence what you do? 
  • Read more about these here   
It may only be a month, but the real significance of Black History Month is to live out the values of diversity, inclusion and equality as daily praxis in every aspect of American life.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Diversity in Advertising -- What Gives?

The advertising industry these days is a-buzzed with both praises and rants in connection with the current trend of promoting more diversity and featuring more diverse ad models.More than that, more and more ads are coming out with real life people. 
Diversity in commercial advertising still has a long way to go in reflecting the appearances and experiences of America’s various populations. However the Swiffer ad and others seem to be stepping into reality TV territory – more inclusive casting choices, less pretending that we all look, sound and behave alike in our homes and communities. “Well, it’s about time that Madison Avenue and advertisers are really embracing the reality of what America is today,” says Ann Christine Diaz, Creativity Editor at AdAge. Read more
The Swiffer ad has been noted for featuring a real-life disabled person together with his real family.

On the other hand, there still exists some form of biases, or racial prejudices.
In an article, an African-American commercial model, and a mother of a biracial child, writes about her own personal experience of not being cast as the mother of her own child in a commercial, just because her child has a different color from hers.
When I took acting classes, my instructors often told me that directors preferred to cast parents with their own kids for family commercials so the emotions would appear more natural. But those teachers weren't thinking about the glaring exceptions to that rule -- the white mother with her cocoa-skinned children, or the African-American mother, like me, with her vanilla baby. Read more of her story here

This brings to mind the much talked about Cheerios ad with its biracial family in it, and how it has earned lots of racist comments.

Yet, the challenge for the advertising industry to step up with diversity remains. As was written in one news article last year, “Advertisers for many years always took the safe route, which was to try to ruffle no feathers and in doing so became less and less authentic and real,” he said. “To succeed today, big brands like Cheerios need to be in touch with what’s authentic and true about American families.” See more

If you are interested in pursuing a career in advertising, you may visit DiversityWorking, the largest job board online, and browse for advertising jobs.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Microsoft's Appointment of New CEO: A Step Forward for Racial Diversity in the C-Suite

The appointment by Microsoft of an Indian-American, Satya Nadella, as its new CEO highlights its deep commitment to diversity and inclusion specifically,  and moreover, a victory towards greater racial diversity among top level executives.

"As we strive to bridge the digital divide so that people at all levels of society can benefit from the opportunities of the global knowledge economy, we recognize that it's more important than ever to honor diversity, both inside Microsoft and in the communities where we live and work." - Bill Gates on his thoughts about diversity and inclusion

The appointment of Satya Nadella, an Indian-American, has drawn mainly positive reactions from different sectors especially those concerned about seeing more diversity in all levels in companies.

The announcement draws attention to the fact that, for all the diversity initiatives at major corporations these days, C-suites are overwhelmingly white. Of all the Fortune 500 CEOs, only 23 -- or just over 4% -- are minorities, a classification that includes African Americans, Asians, and Latin Americans. Read more

Microsoft is leading corporate America by promoting an Asian American to the CEO office and an African American to the chairmanship. Such diversity is rare in the leadership ranks of major U.S. companies. Read more

Rare indeed, hence Microsoft has once again proven its leadership especially in its strong dedication to diversity.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Microsoft - Super Bowl Big Winner with "Empowering" Ad

Microsoft, won big at the Super Bowl games with its one-minute ad, "Empowering" that has struck a deep chord in many viewers.

Microsoft took center stage with its first national minute-long Super Bowl spot, one that was both memorable and touching. It was a somewhat rare win for Microsoft — along with a commanding win for Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner. Read full story here
“In tonight’s Big Game, we aired a one-minute ad that celebrates what technology can do narrated by Steve Gleason, former NFL player and post-Katrina hero of the New Orleans Saints,” Microsoft said of its stirring Super Bowl spot in a post on its blog. “Steve is now living with ALS and narrates the ad in the same way he communicates daily: with his Surface Pro via eye tracking technology.” Read more

Viewing the Microsoft ad, one cannot but be inspired by  "What can technology do; how far can we go? Technology has the power to unite us; it inspires us; it gives hope to the hopeless; And it has given voice to the voiceless." - words that resonate with and engage a diversity of people from all walks of life.

Indeed, with Steve Gleason narrating the ad, Microsoft has sent in a simple yet powerful way its messages of hope, empowerment and unity.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Diamond Innovations - A Spark of Diversity

Diamond Innovations  is the world’s first manufacturer of superabrasive materials for the material removal industry. It is a global company with main headquarters in Worthington, Ohio, and additional manufacturing facilities in Deerfield Beach, Forida, and Dublin, Ireland.

It is the main goal of Diamond Innovations to provide customized engineering for industrial diamond and CBN applications, which generate solutions for end users. To this end, it is committed to innovation and technology development so it can continue to deliver new materials that enhance productivity.

As testament to its technical innovations and persistence, Diamond Innovations
has attained with much pride its status as the world's leading manufacturer of diamond, cubic boron nitride and polycrystalline products.

At the same time, Diamond Innovations is dedicated to protecting the environment, and observing health & safety measures. Hence, it complies with
or exceed applicable environmental, health and safety laws and all other applicable requirements.

As part of the corporate Sandvik family, Diamond Innovations also adheres to the twin core values: diversity and inclusion. This enables the Company to create a culture of creativity and innovation - something integral to Diamond Innovations' path to success, by building and maintaining a diverse workforce that can easily deal with its diverse customer base around the world.

Browse Diamond Innovations jobs at DiversityWorking, the largest job board online, and become part of an innovative global company.

Genesis Energy, L.P. - High on Diversity

Genesis Energy, L.P. is a growth-oriented limited partnership focused on providing the highest quality services and products to the midstream segment of the oil and gas industry, pulp & paper mills, mining operations and other manufacturing industries.

The leaders behind Genesis Energy dedicate themselves to helping the industries they serve run more efficiently by providing an integrated suite of transportation, storage and marketing services to oil and gas producers, refineries and other customers in the Gulf Coast region and beyond. They are passionate about giving highly specialized customer attention.

Just as its portfolio of customers, operation and assets is diverse, so are its employees. Genesis Energy, L.P. is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer, and is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce of specialized, motivated and capable professionals of different backgrounds and experiences.

Employees of Genesis Energy are spread out in work locations across the southeastern portion of the United States, from West Texas to Florida. What makes working at Genesis Energy rewarding is the diversity of career opportunities available, and this includes jobs in transportation and logistics, pipeline operations, finance and accounting, and office and commercial support.

Plus, the company provides a competitive & comprehensive total rewards program that is designed to give recognition and awards to employees for contributing to the company's success. Indeed, an exciting place to be.

For Genesis Energy jobs, visit DiversityWorking, the largest job board online and start a fulfilling career with this great diversity company.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company: Growing Seeds of Diversity

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, the world's largest marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, was founded in 1868 by O.M. Scott as a lawn grass seed business for homeowners.

A significant milestone in its history was the merger in 1995 of Scotts, the leading lawn care brand, with Miracle-Gro, the leading gardening brand, to create The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.

The corporate vision of Scotts Miracle-Gro is "To help people of all ages express themselves on their own piece of the Earth," while part of its mission is to provide a dynamic workplace for our associates to succeed and grow their careers.

Since it believes every employee and each job is essential to its success, Scotts Miracle-Gro is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and productive workplace built on a foundation of shared responsibility and mutual respect.

Scotts Miracle-Gro's work culture is so highly energetic and dynamic that each of their associates feels like being part of a family.

Diversity and inclusion are well-planted in this ever-growing company, for it is committed to fostering and maintaining diversity of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation and age among their associates. This is so as its consumers are also diverse.

In fact, Scotts Miracle-Gro supports a variety of diversity outreach initiatives with the goal of developing women in the workplace, aside from partnering with the Ohio Diversity Council, member of the National Diversity Council. Thus, through its partnership, it has access to diversity consulting, enhanced recruiting opportunities and women's leadership symposiums.

As a result, in 2011 38% of its overall U.S. workforce were women, and 31% held positions at the manager level and above.

These diversity initiatives will continue as Scotts Miracle-Gro is committed to increasing these numbers, alongside integrating and expanding its diversity and inclusion initiatives into the process of organizational development.

For Scotts Miracle-Gro jobs, come and visit DiversityWorking, the largest job board online, and start growing a fruitful career with this great diversity company.

Our consumers are diverse, and we are committed to fostering and maintaining diversity of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation and age among our associates. - See more at: http://www.grogood.com/CorporateResponsibilityReport/WorkplaceCulture/Diversity#sthash.7DUPSNQH.dpuf
Our consumers are diverse, and we are committed to fostering and maintaining diversity of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation and age among our associates. - See more at: http://www.grogood.com/CorporateResponsibilityReport/WorkplaceCulture/Diversity#sthash.7DUPSNQH.dpuf

providing a safe, inclusive and productive workplace built on a foundation of shared responsibility and mutual respect. - See more at: http://www.grogood.com/CorporateResponsibilityReport/WorkplaceCulture#sthash.TEfefgRX.dpuf
every associate and every job is important to our success - See more at: http://www.grogood.com/CorporateResponsibilityReport/WorkplaceCulture#sthash.TEfefgRX.dpuf
every associate and every job is important to our success - See more at: http://www.grogood.com/CorporateResponsibilityReport/WorkplaceCulture#sthash.TEfefgRX.dpuf
every associate and every job is important to our success - See more at: http://www.grogood.com/CorporateResponsibilityReport/WorkplaceCulture#sthash.TEfefgRX.dpuf
every associate and every job is important to our success - See more at: http://www.grogood.com/CorporateResponsibilityReport/WorkplaceCulture#sthash.TEfefgRX.dpuf

Six3 Systems, Inc. (Six3) - A System of Diversity at Work

Six3 Systems, Inc. (Six3) founded in April 2009 in partnership with GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC.s, provides strategic solutions to U.S. Government agencies in 3 key areas: Defense, Intelligence and Civilian, and works from a foundation of 6 core values: Integrity, Ethics, Partnership, Trust, Quality and Innovation.

Its mission is to provide subject matter expertise and strategic solutions for the country's most sensitive national security agencies and critical missions. The Company's support includes security specialists, intelligence analysts, counterintelligence professionals, forensic technicians, systems engineering, chief scientists and thought leaders, and senior program advisors.
At Six3 Systems, working is fun despite the hard work because its corporate culture is employee-friendly; its work environment is such that employees are empowered to expand their personal, professional educational horizons while working in a diverse and collaborative environment. At the same time, a healthy work and home life balance is encouraged among employees.

Six3 Systems is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer committed to maintaining a diverse workforce with all of its employment decisions. Part of its diversity mission statement reads:

  We are committed to filling all positions with the most highly qualified candidates available without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran�s status, marital status, genetic information, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, or any other protected characteristics as established by applicable law.

Here are some reasons developing a career at Six3 Systems is indeed the right choice:

  • A compensation package that includes full-time employment options, paid holidays, and paid leave
  • The stability and resources of an established company that empowers people to be innovative, cooperative, and agile
  • Flexible career paths for those that like being fluid and seek opportunity for their own professional career growth
  • Tools and resources to help you reach your career goals, including reimbursement for training, education, and related materials
  • A passion for every aspect of customers' missions and needs to better the country for the future 

Come and browse Six3 Systems jobs at DiversityWorking, the largest job board online, and start a highly-rewarding career with this great diversity company.

FedEx Custom Critical: Delivering Diversity 24/7

FedEx Custom Critical, with headquarters in Ohio, is North America's largest time specific critical shipment carrier providing the fastest, door-to-door same-day and next-day delivery of urgent freight, valuable items and hazardous goods.

It was founded in 1947 under the name Roberts Cartage, then became an expedited carrier in 1980 as Roberts Express and finally rebranded as FedEx Custom Critical in 2000. FedEx Custom Critical serves North America and internationally, 24/7, 365 days a year with a workforce of more than 1,500 team members.

Among its awards are:

  • Logistics Management magazine: Quest for Quality Awards — “#1 Expedited Motor Carriers” (2013)
  • NASSTRAC: "Expedited Carrier of the Year" (2013)
As part of the umbrella organization FedEx Corporation, FedEx Critical Solution share the same mission, strategy and values. FedEx is grounded on a people-first philosophy where respect for all people is a basic value that is practised in its daily business.

Diversity is an important value embraced by FedEx, so it does its best to create an environment that provide rewarding opportunities for its employees to contribute and grow, and where the values of diversity is embedded in its organization.

With a diverse workforce, supplier base and supporting culture, FedEx is able to better serve customers and compete effectively in the world marketplace. This forms part of its diversity mission statement which also expresses: We value the contributions and perspectives of all employees regardless of race, gender, culture, religion, age, nationality, disability, or sexual orientation.
We will strive in our workplace practices to deal with our employees, customers and suppliers in a fair and ethical manner.

As testament to its sincere commitment to diversity, FedEx has been recognized with the following diversity awards:
  • Champion of Diversity Award from the New York Urban League 
  • one of the top 40 companies for diversity by Black Enterprise magazine,
  • one of the top 50 employers by Minority Engineer magazine
  • honored by Pink magazine as a great place for women to work. Pink magazine placed FedEx in its Elite Eight due to the number of women in executive position
There are six affinity groups at FedEx: African-American, Asian, Hispanic, cancer-support, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee networks and these affinity groups celebrate diversity and promote cultural education. A Corporate Diversity Council that focuses on a global culture of diversity and inclusiveness is also maintained.

What a great place to work indeed; see how you can become part of this well-established global diversity company. Come to DiversityWorking, the largest job board online, and browse for FedEx Custom Critical jobs.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rabobank: Adding Value Through Diversity

Rabobank Group is a leading global financial services whose roots started way back in the late nineteenth century with the founding by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen of a collection of small agricultural cooperative banks in the Netherlands.

Over the past 116 years, Rabobank Group has consistently grown to be one of the world's leading food and agri bank through its dedicated mission to serve the best economic interests of its members and customers. It has approximately 60,000 employees (in FTEs), serving about 10 million customers in 47 countries.

Rabobank's activities are diverse covering the fields of banking, asset management, leasing, insurance and real estate.

In order to fulfill its mission to serve well, four (4) core values serve as guiding principles in the way Rabobank group meet  the needs of its customers, in its attitudes to its environment and its internal operations as enshrined in their Codes of Conduct by which all Rabobank members adhere to.

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Sustainability

The Rabobank Group is committed to diversity. It believes its workforce  should be representative of the widest possible cross-section of society, and rejects all forms of unequal treatment of employees. A diverse workforce, Rabobank believes, enhances the quality of its services.

What more, Rabobank Group employees are treated with mutual respect, and given all possibilities for their professional development. Rabobank also believes in creating a good working environment that enables employees the full scope of their personal development.

What more can one ask for in starting an enriching career, so for more details on Rabobank jobs, come to DiversityWorking, the largest job board online, and be part of a great global company.

Ifbyphone Garners $9M Fresh Funding; More Job Hires

Ifbyphone, Inc., the leading maker of voiced-based marketing automation, recently made news and is on the track for more growth as it amassed a total of $9 million investment funds, and this signifies more job hirings.

Ifbyphone Inc. has rung up another $9 million in venture funding. The funding, led by Cincinnati-based River Cities Capital Funds, brings total venture investment in Ifbyphone to more than $30 million. Read more here

The company says it has nearly 4,000 paying customers, and that it processed more than 200 million phone calls and 600 million minutes as of December of last year. It plans to make 25 new hires in the first half of the year, bringing the total headcount to more than 115. See here

The Ifbyphone suite is a set of software-as-a-service applications including ad tracking, lead distribution, hosted IVR, and voice broadcasting. Companies of all sizes and across all industries use Ifbyphone including direct response, health care, real estate, home services, and lead generation.

As stated above, this latest round of funding was led by River Cities Capital Funds, a new investor, and a clear sign of the confidence and credibility that Ifbyphone inspires. At Ifbyphone, indeed, cutting edge stuff is happening.

To browse Ifbyphone jobs, visit DiversityWorking, the largest job board online and start a great career with one of the fastest growing companies in the industry today.